Friday, May 13, 2016

Same old Friday

I talked about having a bunch of small jobs that get me by. One of them is at a non profit gallery where I'm a keyholder. I open some Fridays and most Saturdays. Sometimes I even close up.

There was a stretch a few months ago that I opened the gallery every Friday. It started to follow a comfortable pattern. Roll in at 10:45, open the gates, flip the lights on and open the main door at 11am. Then the community newspaper arrives at 11:20. The assistant arrives soon after.

Once that's done, things start getting a little "only in New York". I step out to chatter with the crossing guard, a funny, sparkling latina. Eventually, the dude we have dubbed "The horse guy" shows up with his majestic steed and carriage. We talk a few minutes, the horseman let's me feed his horse an apple. That used to be the highlight of my week.

Then I go back into the gallery and tackle some cleaning or sorting and answer the phone.

What work rituals do you find soothing?

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Little Quirks, part one.

We all have the funny little things that make us human. Stuff other fellow people may find flat out odd that only make sense to ourselves. I call my odd foibles " Aryella Logic". Here are some of mine.

Chinese take out food:

I think the excessive amount of rice in a Chinese dish one orders is a conspiracy to have less meat in a meal. I feel the same way about French fries. I enjoy fries and rice in moderation, but the amounts restaurants give is absurd. I see it as filler, a culinary afterthought. To combat this, I order appetizers for dinner. I'll order spring rolls, dumplings and onion rings in order to avoid the scourge of rice mountain.

Two Beers and a Red Bull:

A lot of rock shows we go to are at Webster Hall. I get inebriated very easily, so I moderate my drinking. A night at Webster Hall usually consists of four bands, so I want to be awake, not wasted so I can fully enjoy the headlining act. I start the night with a beer. Beers are 2 for 15$. I have the second beer at the middle of the second act. I enjoy mild tipsiness during the third act. In the middle of the third band, I'll have my last drink of the night, a Red Bull. I'm now ready to mosh the headliner.

The running verbal list:

"Okay, I'm gonna empty the littermaid, write this grant letter, water my plants and prime the canvas"

I say every task I'm going to do right before I do them, wether anyone is around to hear me or not. And then I do the tasks in the exact order I stated them in. I know why I do this. I'm not telling people around I have work to complete, I'm telling myself what I'm doing out loud. After years of being a chronic procrastinator, saying my necessary tasks is like making a contract to myself. It sounds silly, but this is how things get done in my world.

What are your quirks?

Upcoming posts:
*The act of writing begets more writing.
*Rock show strategy and tactics for maximum enjoyment.
*The overkill laundry system, explained in full.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

My new hobbies, part 1- Raising houseplants

My mom always adored houseplants. Growing up we had years old plants in pots that she tended to, some we had for so long, we had to rig up its vines throughout the living room. My mom is an avid plant whisperer.

I recently went to Home Depot to buy a very poundy massage showerhead. Waterpik makes a nice one. I couldn't help but enjoy looking at the abundant verdant riot by the front entrance. From the plant selection, I chose an itty little aloe vera in a two inch plastic pot. Then I had to repot her cause she was growing wider and sprouting off new growth like she was out of control.

What followed were three more plants. A small hardy plant I can't identify who's flowers look like little red stars, a purple and white Orchid that I feed ice cubes to twice a week, and a daffodil that, within a week of bringing him home, bloomed five flowers  (we are now at 10 three weeks in). Even N has gotten in on the act. He brought me home a spider plant in a coffee can that a tech from work raised. I repotted her in a grey clay pot more befitting of her lovely long leaves.

Once these plants get big enough, I'm going to start the experiments in rooting hormone to clone more baby plants for cheap.

Now to plan the back yard small crop container garden

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

How to clean a cooktop

So, is your cooktop so filthy that someone should take a culture of it in order to see what nasties reside on it? Is it throughly and horrifyingly crusted in unidentified burnt on cooking goo? Is it haunted by suppers past? If so, I have a solution that doesn't involve killing it with fire.

1) remove any removable parts, knobs, those heavy metal things that pots rest on while the burner is going, soak in kitchen cleaner, baking soda and warm water.

2) brush away any loose debris, stray incinerated pasta, etc from cooktop onto floor. Sweep away.

2)thoroughly spray 409 on bare cooktop.

3)sprinkle baking soda over 409.

4) wait 20 minutes, clean soaking stove top parts, let dry.

5) with paper towels, wipe away now loosened grime. Depending on how bad off your stove top was, this may require some scrubbing.

6) sweep away remaining baking soda.

7) finish off with light coat of 409 and polish.

8)put knobs and parts back on the stovetop.

Your cooktop is like new.

Hat tip, my old roommate Anthony. If it's a lifehack, he knows about it.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

That was some odd, odd yoga.

I tried Kundalini yoga for the first time this morning. Expanding on yesterday's theme of stretching oneself, I decided to try a different style of yoga than I usually do. I was in luck cause there was a free class today at the bookshop I work at. Kundalini is more breathing focused than it is stretch focused, but there's still plenty of challenging movement. Sometime mid class I found myself completely zoning out in some sort of deep state. I know I wasn't sleeping, there weren't dreams, but my thoughts were vivid and lifelike. Yeah, I'll do that again.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Stretching myself out, expanding for growth.

My friend Apryl has a phrase "do everything wrong. I say that "everything's worth the experiment". I will often buy some new art supply with no clue how I was going to use it until months later. Sure, I know it sounds like hoarding, but I love diving into my stash and thinking "let's see how this will work!".

I used to say things like...

"I will only draw my lines in black, then do the fills in color"

This thinking is self limiting. Who came up with this arbitrary rule? Me. Why does this rule need to exist? It doesnt. I'm guessing I was self limiting in order to keep my art from "sucking". I should not defeat myself this way. I'm lining in color on black paper now and the results are stunning.

"I'm never singing on stage again"

I sang from 4th grade to the time I GEDed out of high school. Then I defeated myself by smoking. After a long time of being out of practice, I tried karaoke in college and I sounded like a wounded toad. Eventually I started hanging out with lots of musicians and going to karaoke a few times a month. Last time we went, I had everyone singing "Part of your world" along with me. I felt drunk with the power of gripping an audience and the feeling had to be replicated. So I backup sang on stage last week. Baby steps.

So, how do you folks limit your self limiting, self sabotaging behaviors?

Sunday, April 24, 2016

And we're back...

Hey peeps, it's been a few years there. Last I posted I was on the edge of what became my art career and I was waffling about staying with my exhubs.

I'm restarting the blog, so here's an update.

In the past three years I got to live with lots of different people in lots of different apartments. I think that this was good for me, my views on humanity broadened. I joined and broke up with a metal band, some friends who I thought were forever seem to have floated away, some have returned, and I made even more new awesome buddies by being involved in the NYC indie music scene.

I work a hodgepodge of freelance jobs. Most sane people would consider me unstable and dead broke if they saw what my take home was, but this is the happiest I've ever been.

I've been in a pretty awesome relationship for over a year now. N was the one who got me involved in the indie scene. I'm in a new band now. Or at least I hope were becoming a band. Rivky Gee and friends just had our first gig at The Bitter End. I handcrafted all the merch. I think we can call ourselves folk-cabaret with metal and blues tendencies.

This was once a blog about leaving orthodoxy. That ship has sailed.

I used this blog to kvetch about my fairly unrelatable relatives and in laws. No more.

I think I'll keep this space for reviews, how tos, craftsy things and interesting observations too long for facebook.

See you on the other side,

Ary S.